A ceramic sculpture of a blue figure seated on a woven mat, with three sets of arms.

All images © Anastassia Zamaraeva, shared with permission

For London-based artist and art therapist Anastassia Zamaraeva, ideating and working with her hands is as important as the finished pieces. “I have learned that trusting my process and intuition is the best way to make work that feels honest and reflective of who I am,” she tells Colossal. “I trust the images and ideas that pop into my mind and go along with them, even if I don’t initially understand them. The making process helps me to unravel the meaning behind the work.”

Zamaraeva sketches out her ideas before working three-dimensionally. She uses grog, or clay that has been fired and then ground up, which results in a coarser texture that is also more resilient to cracks during drying or firing. By pinching and coiling the material, she forms a range of emotive and sometimes uncanny subjects, from rotund human figures and body parts to trees, plants, and mollusks.

The first time Zamaraeva made a slug, she was experimenting with porcelain. The medium challenged her, and the only thing she could make at first was a sausage shape. “So, I added some antennae, and the first slug was born,” she says. “I think the reason that I’ve continued making slugs is because they elicit a visceral reaction in myself and many others. I am drawn to uncomfortable things in my work. I tend to see this as something that touches upon our shadow aspects.”

Zamaraeva will have work included in the group exhibition Festoon at Underbank Studios in Stockport, England, which opens in April. Find more on the artist’s website and Instagram.


A ceramic sculpture of a jade plant in a vase with black slugs crawling up the side.

A ceramic sculpture of a figure in white porcelain, holding a blob of black goo.

A series of white porcelain slugs. A ceramic sculpture of a leafless tree with its roots showing.

A porcelain slug sculpture held in someone's hand.

A ceramic sculpture of a three-headed figure with arms crossed, on a woven mat.

A ceramic sculpture of a tree sprouting out of a hand.

Three ceramic sculptures with faces painted yellow and stretching skyward.

A ceramic sculpture of a human head with multiple arms, stretching out of a red, woven mat.

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